Category Archives: OnContact
Are you correctly managing your millennial employees and keeping them engaged in your business’s mission? Here are a few pointers to help you out.
Learning and development
Education and continuous professional development are crucial to the millennial generation. In order to keep millennials engaged in the mission, you need to be able to offer some sort of reward or skill growth opportunities, such as workshops, conference attendance, or even continuing education reimbursement. Millennial workers will jump on these opportunities and feel empowered you’re placing trust in their continuing development as learners and leaders.
Yes, it’s true that the millennial generation isn’t one to stick with one job over a long period of time. To help eliminate this challenge, ensure you can actually prove there are advancement opportunities or areas of growth within the company. If there’s no chance of advancement in sight, retention among young talent will diminish.
Want your millennial workers to love what they do and actually stay engaged throughout the entire work week? Their roles better be purposeful and have meaning. Unlike past generations, who were comfortable doing the work they had to and heading home, millennials need to be passionate about the work they’re doing. They’re not going to settle for whatever comes their way, and they’ll switch jobs until they find the perfect fit. Be able to show millennials how powerful and influential their role is in order for them to thrive.
Millennial workers want to be involved in the company culture of your business. Which is great, because having them involved in the culture of the company will help with engagement and retention. In addition, younger workers will often bring a unique mindset and ideas to the table where older generations might not be able to.
Having grown up with the boom of the internet, millennials are naturally in-tune with most technologies present in today’s workforce. If your team is full of young workers, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to consider implementing automation software solutions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). While the new software solution will have a learning curve for anyone, millennials will appreciate the use of technology over more outdated tools.
Corporate wellness initiatives
Wellness and philanthropy are huge in this generation. Consider partnering with a nearby local philanthropy or community service organization in order to give back to your community. Millennials, and indeed other generations in the workforce will appreciate the opportunity and join in the philanthropic endeavors. By doing so, you’ll be promoting collaboration between departments and generations as well, which can help overall team culture.
We’re sure you’ve heard of flexible scheduling. That thing where employees have the opportunity to work from home when they need to, or leave early and work later instead. It’s catching on, and what’s being found is that people are actually more productive and less inclined to call off of work. But remember, flexible scheduling might not be the best opportunity for everyone. Just because the worker is a millennial doesn’t mean they’ll work well at home.
Getting your business in the door is one of the biggest challenges in sales. Let’s take a look at some strategies to help make the job of your business development specialist a little easier.
Seek to Understand
We need to stop thinking about sales in terms of what we need, and instead put ourselves in the shoes of the prospect. This individual is likely very busy and doesn’t have a lot of time to waste—the last thing they want to do is set up a time to talk with a business development specialist about a product or service. For them to consider listening to what you have to say, you need to be able to show them the value of what you’re trying to sell. You need to know that there’s going to be a return on investment, that the product or service is going to truly benefit the prospect. Once you have all of these considerations in order, you’ll be in a much better position to actually get in the door of the prospect and start building a relationship.
You can’t get in the door if you’re unknown. When you feel like you’re ready to reach out to a prospect, you need to have established yourself. The prospect should have a general understanding, at minimum, of what your business does and what it can provide. You should also be established as a thought leader in your industry, and easily searchable online or niche industry databases. Before setting up a meeting with the prospect, there needs to have been a point of establishment, whether that’s through networking, a common connection, etc. Having some sort of established connection will be sure to prove useful and help you land that first meeting.
Go Above and Beyond
Getting in the door is one thing. Staying in the race is another. In order to master both, you need to stand out from the sea of competitors that are likely fighting for the same prospect with very similar products and/or services. You should know better than anybody why your business is better than all the rest. Make that clear in your marketing campaigns, sales efforts, etc. Another thing that will help you go above and beyond competition is to know the reasons for why your business can help make the prospect’s business easier or overall improved.
Another way to stand out among competitors is to have integrity in what you’re doing and what you’re selling. Not all prospects will end up being a great fit for your business. While some businesses won’t mind and might go ahead with the sale, others will be honest about their mismatching needs. Be as open and honest as possible to your prospects. They’ll thank you later for not selling them products they don’t actually need when they’re able to calculate a positive ROI.
If you’ve been in sales for a while, you know that consistency is key. CEOs and other upper-level positions aren’t always available for your calls or emails, and that’s ok. Stay in the game, keep in touch with businesses that aren’t the most responsive, and when they’re ready to do business, you’ll be one of the first people they’ll think of.
Your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software data and creative writing may not have much to do with each other on the surface. In one your process and store data, the other you create the data using seemingly random words and ideas. It may seem like completely opposite worlds, but when you review in a little more detail, some clear patterns emerge that the two share. When these similarities are both executed well, it breeds success and greatness. Let’s take a closer look at what these two have in common and how they lead to success.
1: The more options, the merrier.
When using a CRM to track sales, prospects, and potential leads, the more data you have the better. It makes your pool of potential leads bigger and that can lead to more sales. This assumes you store the data properly and make good use from a marketing perspective. Writers face a similar situation. They have a large pool of words and ideas that they can take from potential use to direct use. They need to be able to cipher through all their options and make the best choice to contribute to their final product.
2: It is important to categorize variety properly.
You may use your CRM strictly for your sales prospects, but the company as whole uses it for customer services and marketing too. In doing so, you need to properly label different contacts and companies so that there is no confusion among employees as to who should be dealing with whom. Using properly categorization keeps everyone on the same page and allows them to hit max efficiency. Writers pull from the same idea. They need to stick to their overall themes and qualities throughout the book to make it unified and tie it together. Keeping it united and progressive makes for a much better quality work.
3: There will be constant change in the data.
On a day to basis, as you speak to companies and contacts, you will be updating your CRM. Prospects turn to sales, leads turn to prospects, and new leads enter in while former customers go on the way out. It is important that the change Is updated live in the CRM and that everyone is able to see it and stay up to date. An author uses this same change in their revisions, whether they do it themselves or seek outside review as well. Each new draft should make the work a little better each time, leading to the best possible outcome, ideally.
4: The final output is most important.
At the end of the day, you want your CRM software to help you produce more sales. They will be better able to help you manage account and take your company to better levels. Ultimately, this is the goal everyone should strive for. This is the exact same for a writer. They can write and review all day long, but every writer will tell you, they want the final product to be great. There really is no point to having a good first draft and a bad final draft.
What is the most popular sport in America? Football. What do many people talk about on Monday’s in the office? Football. But what they may not know, is that using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a lot like a football offense. In both cases, all users or players must be on the same page with the same goal. They all need to be working in the same system, with updated information. There are many others, so let’s take a closer look at the parallels between the two.
Power users are like the Quarterbacks. Quarterbacks are in change and knowledgeable about everyone on the field. They can change plays, adjust player’s positions on the field, and read a defense to make the proper play. They lead the team in a manner that is professional and conducive to winning. Consider a power user in that same way; they are often across the software in many areas and were involved in the CRM decision, implementation, or updates at some point. They often help other employees as they know a lot about the software.
Specialty users are like skill players. Skill players have specific, defined roles where they excel and are expected to perform at a high level. There are no excuses for not being good at their role and plan all week to play hard. A WR needs to know all the routes and be on the same page as his QB. A RB needs to know if a pass play calls for him to block and run a route. They all need to do their own roles and come together to achieve perfection. Likewise, a company will have CRM users for different parts of the CRM. A Marketing Manager will be involved in the email campaigns and lead tracking, whereas a Sales Manager will spend more time tracking pipelines, sales numbers, and managing the sales representatives. Separate with some crossover, but need to be experts in their area and work together to make the company succeed.
View only or light users are like coaches. Coaches are not on the field so they do not impact the game like a player can, but their play calling, schemes, designs, etc. can be the difference between a win and a loss. They call the shots from the sidelines or in the press box with the goal of using what they see to get the best outcome. View only and light users do a lot of the same things. They see the data and use it to maximize company output. They do not impact performance like a power user could, but they have an important role to play nonetheless. Whether they are on-site or not, they have a presence that is important.
When challenges for your customer service team arise (incidents, products defects, etc.), your team needs to be ready and equipped to handle them. With OnContact CRM, you’ll have no reasons to panic, and your team will be ready for just about anything that comes their way. Let’s take a look on a more granular level at the various features included in our all-in-one customer relationship management tool related to incident management and defect tracking.
Incident tracking is crucial to having a successful customer service department. Your team needs to know the cases that are currently opened or unresolved, any related cases that might prove useful to existing scenarios, a complete history of every incident, and the ability to categorize incidents as specifically as possible. OnContact’s customer relationship management solution makes that all possible. With all of these resources and tools available, your customer service team will be productive like never before.
Don’t let existing incidents go unresolved, or lose track of priority levels. With incident escalation, your customer service reps will never have to worry about being overloaded with too many cases or resolutions to handle. Administrators and managers need only configure their customer relationship management solution to ensure that cases are escalated to reps that have the time and capabilities necessary to resolve the issue. In addition, managers are able to reassign incidents and mark different levels of priority to ensure the case is being handled promptly and by the right person. Once escalated, managers and administrators will be able to see and analyze all of the historical data within OnContact’s customer service reports and dashboards.
Customer Service Reports
What’s the point in collecting and storing historical data without being able to go back in and look at detailed reports and analytics? With OnContact CRM’s interactive reports and dashboards, managers and administrators will have all of the tools and information they could ever ask for.
Dashboards are available for managers and administrators looking to analyze and get a bird-eye view of any outstanding incidents, track team performance, analyze trends in customer resolutions or product defects, escalate incidents, rearrange rep workloads, and so much more.
Reports are available for managers and administrators to drill down into details and share that information with others. Reports within OnContact can be customized to ensure only the data that’s necessary is included; once customized, reports can then be exported and shared.
Don’t let product model defects stump your customer service team and leave them unable to handle the situation. With OnContact’s defect tracking and escalation functionality, your team will be equipped with any and all resources needed to ensure that the situation is handled with care, recorded precisely, and resolved in an organized, efficient way that leaves the customer and the customer service rep satisfied. Specifically, your customer service team will be equipped with comprehensive categorization options, able to add notes and attachments to records, and escalate cases as necessary.
Below are many of the criteria that can be used to classify bugs and incidents:
- Priority level
With all of these information categorized, your reps (and their administrators) will always have historical data to rely on in case they need to go back and look at past records.
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In order for a call center to be truly effective, it needs a lot of organizational measures in place. Calls need to be handled efficiently and fully, records need to be kept accurately, resources need to be deployed quickly, call center representatives need to stay busy and held accountable, etc. To accomplish all of this, why not rely on one comprehensive, centralized software solution? That’s where OnContact CRM by WorkWise comes in. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your call center can’t afford to miss out on all of the solutions this software package has to offer.
We integrate with CTI switches
If you run a call center, you probably also need to rely on CTI switches for incoming calls and hands-free communication. Well, you’re in luck! OnContact integrates seamlessly with a plethora of the most popular CTI switches. Click-to-call and click-to-answer functionality is crucial in high-functioning call centers, as it increases the likelihood for resolving customer issues on the first contact. With CTI integration, we’re putting innovation at the forefront of your contact center to improve customer service.
Computer-integrated screen pops
Keeping with the trend of technology and software innovation, we’d like to introduce you to another helpful tool included in our contact center solution: alerts and screen pops. When working in a call center, the last thing you need to worry about is missing an alert because you have to scroll through a multitude of screens and dashboards. OnContact’s offering gives you the ability to have integrated screen pops appear on your computer, so you don’t have to waste time sorting through screens. The alert is right there in front of you, saving time and giving your call center representatives peace of mind.
Additionally, you’re able to make immediate changes to any call scripts that your representatives rely on while handling calls. With real-time updates and changes, you’ll always be equipped with the most up-to-date information and resources available to you.
Intelligent call scripting
Call scripting needs to go beyond simple text boxes. That’s why our call center software provides HTML capabilities as well, including images, links, and more. Call agents can also save notes and other reminders via the customer relationship management application while handling calls.
Just like the rest of the OnContact CRM software solution, contact center is totally customizable to fit your business’s unique needs and demands. Our experts will work with you to ensure that the product is working the way your business requires it to. We do this because we believe that software products should always work FOR the customer, and not the other way around.
It’s included with our CRM
You can’t have a quality contact center software package unless it’s 100% integrated with your customer relationship management solution. Fortunately, our call center package is included with the price of OnContact CRM. No upcharges, no additional fees. You’ll be able to access all of your customer financial and historical information directly within the contact center application, without having to search through numerous screens and software solutions. And since it’s integrated with OnContact, you don’t have to go through numerous support service teams. We’ll take care of it all for you, from call center to marketing automation and more.
We’ve all been there. There’s a major project coming up, yet we can’t seem to muster the motivation to work on it. Whether it’s simply laziness, stress, exhaustion, anxiety, a gloomy day, or anything in between, there are ways in which you can overcome that procrastination bug and get back to working hard and generating positive workplace results. Let’s take a look at a few great motivators to get you out of that slump and back on track.
1.) Create deadlines for yourself
Setting goals is pointless unless you’re actually creating deadlines and parameters for when things need to be done. If you lack motivation, the one thing that’s going to make you actually accomplish tasks is a time parameter. By setting a quota or a deadline, you’re telling yourself that something must be done by a certain date and time. Adding some accountability for if you don’t meet the deadline adds even more motivation.
2.) Make to-do lists that are actually doable
To-do lists are great. They remind you of what needs to be focused on for the day or week, and can help you stay on track for accomplishing tasks and goals. However, you need to ensure that your list-making has a purpose and is actually accomplishable. Lists should be concrete, specific, and capable of being done. To get started, make the first item on your list something that’s the most-doable out of everything you need to get done. Crossing off that first item on your list will give you the added motivation to continue on.
3.) Identify your procrastination
The hardest part about doing a challenging task is getting started. To help overcome this initial barrier, you need to be able to understand what it is that you need to overcome. This can take the shape of many different things, including:
- Lack of value
- Your own personality
- Your own expectations
- Fear of failure
Once you’ve identified the reason for why you’re procrastinating, then you can seek out solutions that are specific to your unique barrier.
4.) If possible, listen to music
Being lazy or procrastinating something tends to do with not being in the proper mindset. You might be tired, uninspired, or simply not in the mood. To change your mind set a little bit, consider listening to some music. Whether it’s motivational or calming or therapeutic (which will vary based on your unique interests), music can inspire you to become more productive at work.
5.) Reward yourself
For some people, it’s rewards that get them motivated and inspired to do their job productively. These are usually self-rewards that you yourself create. For example, you may decide to create a reward system for yourself when you complete a major project early. Once the project is completed, you treat yourself to a coffee or extra treat.
6.) Be held accountable
Whether it’s holding yourself accountable, having someone else keep a watchful eye on your progress through a customer relationship management (CRM) tool or another solution, or a combination of the two, accountability is a huge indicator of whether you’re going to be productive or not. When you’re not held accountable for your actions at work, you may lose that extra motivation to meet deadlines or accomplishing tasks. Instead, you may find yourself doing less and losing passion in your work.
7.) Talk to passionate coworkers
Looking to get inspired? There’s no better place to look than to the people around you that are motivated and passionate and dedicated to their work. If you’re lacking motivation, speaking to these passionate workers can lift your spirits and remind you why you love what you do.
It’s a common understanding that investing in training for individuals on a sales team is a sound investment that will increase productivity and profits. Unfortunately, a lot of that training is wasted by focusing on the wrong areas. Whether you’re looking to revise your sales training processes or just get a few ideas, let’s take a look at several of the reasons why sales training sometimes fails.
1.) Valuing drive over technique and process
Don’t get us wrong, motivation is great and has an important place in sales. However, you have to establish technique and process in order to be truly successful. Harness the power of motivation once the sales process and adequate methodology has been established and perfected. Otherwise, you’ll have passionate, motivated sales reps chasing after the wrong sale.
2.) No reinforcement
Without systematic, ongoing continuation of learning and a reinforcement of what’s been taught, people usually end up forgetting what they’ve already learned. For this reason, reinforcement within sales training is crucial to its success. Don’t set up day-long sales training initiatives. Instead, break them out over a series of weeks or months, and keep them relatively short. That way, sales reps are more likely to stay focused and actually retain what they’re learning.
3.) Over-focusing on technology
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a solution that we obviously highly recommend businesses utilize to enhance their sales capabilities. With that said, salespeople need to still have the skills necessary to successfully sell. Obviously train your employees on how to best utilize CRM, but don’t limit your training to technology.
4.) Aloof sales management
We’ve written extensively about the need for a highly-effective sales manager, and that’s no different when it comes to sales training. Management needs to be actively-involved in the training process, and should be well-versed in sales coaching and training.
5.) Inadequate training content
Sales training that worked 10 years ago probably isn’t going to be as effective today. While there’s a lot of tried and true methods that haven’t changed much, there’s a lot that has, especially as buyer’s motivations have altered over time. In addition, younger sales reps such as Millennials aren’t interested in sitting around all day. They’ll likely want to have training on their own terms, and in ways that are easily accessible to them (mobile, video, etc.).
6.) Failure to address individuals’ attributes
One of the biggest mistakes a sales manager can make is assuming that everyone on the sales team is “equal” in terms of their talents, skill sets, and attributes. While in general it can be assumed that sales reps have a lot of the same attributes, this isn’t always the case. Some reps may be better suited for different types of selling, so it’s important during training to develop these specialities.
7.) Misunderstood sales process/methodology
As we’ve discussed previously, the sales process and methodology of a business must be understood by everyone involved in sales (and marketing as well). Without it, there’s really no point in trying to train your reps, as they won’t be able to see where mistakes are being made or where opportunities may be hidden. Bring everyone into the process immediately, and ensure that nobody’s left out of the big picture.
8.) Lack of measurement
Along with reinforcement, sales training needs have some form of measurement. Whether you’re measuring the productivity of reps through CRM or another tool, it’s imperative that you know who’s learning and growing and who continues to struggle.
QuickCable, a powerful manufacturer and distributor of connectors, cable, cable assemblies, and tools for the energy storage industry, distributes to customer around the world. The Wisconsin-based manufacturer was founded in 1946 and has warehouses both in the United States and Canada. QuickCable is dedicated to providing the highest-quality products with reliability and lower costs in mind.
To stay competitive in their niche industry, QuickCable knew their growing business demanded software that could enhance their manufacturing processes, increase efficiency, and improve their entire sales process. To accomplish this, they turned to WorkWise ERP and OnContact CRM software.
“It’s great to have a local company that’s activity in the community to serve as the author of our software,” said Mike Palecek, Business Systems Manager at QuickCable. “Being able to communicate regularly with their live support staff is great as well.”
QuickCable has gone through numerous upgrades since implementing WorkWise software. For Mike, some of his most-used features of WorkWise ERP include workbenches, reporting, and more.
“We love being able to quickly make decisions through WorkWise ERP’s workbenches without having to hunt for information. In addition, being able to report on a lot of these metrics is definitely a benefit. Our most-used feature is scheduling – being able to schedule and move through the various departments in capacity, implementing, etc.”
They haven’t just benefited from our ERP offering—QuickCable also utilizes OnContact CRM to get a complete visualization of their sales pipeline.
“Our favorite function of OnContact CRM is the ability to track the entire sales pipeline in order to see what we have coming in in terms of prospects and leads. In the past, we never had that – we didn’t have a decent sales pipeline regarding what potential sales opportunities we had.”
It’s clear that QuickCable has benefited considerably through the use of WorkWise ERP and OnContact CRM, and Mike has already become an advocate for the software.
“I’ve already made a recommendation to a business consultant for implementing WorkWise Software. I told him: WorkWise ERP is very strong in the manufacturing process, and there’s a lot of experience behind the product… and I believe he’s recently become a new client of yours.”
QUICKCABLE OVERALL IMPROVEMENTS USING WORKWISE ERP AND ONCONTACT CRM
- Quick access to key reporting metrics
- Able to track the entire sales pipeline through OnContact CRM
- Quickly make decisions through WorkWise ERP’s workbenches
Want to know more about how WorkWise ERP and OnContact CRM can improve your business processes in the areas of manufacturing, accounting, sales, marketing, and more? Contact us today!
Work and life can get really hectic. The last thing you want to deal with when you’re handling a stress-filled environment is a messy, unorganized workspace. Below are a few tips to help alleviate some of these stresses.
Declutter and Clean Up
Drop what you’re doing (after you finishing reading this article, of course) and start decluttering your office space. Whether you’re a fairly organized person or your office space is starting to look like a storage unit, there’s bound to be room for decluttering and cleaning up. Before you get started and start throwing things away, it’s wise to create a plan of action. What are you going to keep, and what are you going to toss or give away? Also, think about usability when you’re going through what you should keep and what you should remove. If there’s something in your workspace that serves no purpose, ditch it. The less clutter and chaos happening in your office, the better!
If you have the time, it might be best to designate a couple of hours to simply clear out your office and only put back in what’s necessary. Haven’t used something in the last six months? There’s a strong chance that you simply don’t have any use for it, and thus can be removed from your workspace. Once you have all of the clutter removed and only the necessary items remain, you can move on to organization.
Simplify Your Desktop
We hear it time and time again from new customers reflecting on their new OnContact CRM software: “we’ve never been able to visualize our entire sales funnel until now.” That’s because our CRM comes equipped with an array of pipeline management features that give managers an in-depth, comprehensive look into their business’s sales pipeline. Once the CRM begins gathering sales data and marketing metrics, you’ll be able to visualize your sales funnel and better analyze your business’s sales and marketing efforts. The sales pipeline functionality allows you to drill down into specific portions of the funnel to better understand pain points and discover common challenges or opportunities that you see throughout the sales process across various customers and prospects.
Rethink Your Filing System
It’s the 21st century: do you really need all those massive filing cabinets filled with documents that you never look at? Can all of that wasted space be saved by simply utilizing your computer and saving all of those paper files online?
Even if you do still prefer the traditional paper filing system, it has to be maintained and organized. Whether you organize documents alphabetically, by project, or another method, you need to choose one that works for you, and one that you’re going to be able to stick with.
Organize Your Emails
The dreaded emails. You complain about them, but you’re not doing anything to make them less of a hassle and more of a routine. To continue the organization of your office from the desk and workspace to your computer, consider revising the way you save and document your emails.
Just like your filing cabinet, you need to utilize separate, coded files for emails to keep an organized, efficient workspace. Additionally, don’t just ignore emails that you have no interest in – mark them as read! An inbox that’s clean and organized will be a great stress relief when you’re parsing through emails and buried in work.
Revise your Work-Life Balance
If you find yourself struggling to stay focused at work, it’s not always just your hectic work space – it probably also has to do with your personal life. To alleviate the stress that your personal life can bring into your workspace, consider utilizing your time in different ways.
- Structure your time – use the first 15 minutes you’re in the office to check up on your social media channels and/or emails so you don’t find yourself checking them throughout the rest of the day.
- Use your morning commute – use the morning commute to check in on open projects, employees that work for you, or to simply reflect on what you want to accomplish that day.
- Schedule quick breaks throughout the day – if possible, set quick 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day, rather than one lengthy one. This way, you’ll be able to reset and refocus after each project you work on.
- Turn off popup notifications – If you find it impossible to completely put away your phone, at least turn off popup notifications. They’re just another distraction keeping you from being productive and focused on your work.